Will Terrelle Pryor Thrive in Washington?
In his first season as a full-time receiver, Terrelle Pryor finished the season as the #21 fantasy wideout, though his numbers dipped over the final month of the season. Here are his game logs:
I included the quarterback with the most attempted passes in each game to illustrate just what Pryor was dealing with as far as consistency – or in this case, inconsistency – at the quarterback position.
Even dealing with five different quarterbacks, his production in the first 12 games – 5.2 catches for 71 yards and 0.33 TD, #11 fantasy WR (#16 on a per game basis) – is very encouraging. His swoon in December coincided with Robert Griffin’s return to the lineup, so I wouldn’t worry too much about it. Pryor and Griffin never really got on the same page.
The Quarterback Effect
Here’s a look at how each quarterback fared when throwing the ball to Pryor, and what sort of target share he saw from each passer:
Clearly, he had his best rapport with Cody Kessler, and to a lesser extent Josh McCown. All four of Pryor’s receiving touchdowns were thrown by Kessler, who averaged 7.49 YPA when targeting Pryor, and just 6.90 YPA when targeting all other receivers.
A Change In Scenery
Here are all the players who saw more than 20 targets for the Redskins in 2016:
Pierre Garcon (SF) and DeSean Jackson (TB) are no longer there, so there are 214 targets up for grabs in Washington. Former 1st round pick Josh Doctson is expected to pick up some of the slack, and if Jordan Reed can play a full season he’ll likely lead the team in targets. Even so, if Reed plays 16 games at 7.4 T/G (118 targets) and Doctson turns into a 90-target player, that still leaves 95 or so targets for Pryor, more if Vernon Davis gives up a few of his targets to Reed, if healthy.
Note: If you’re wondering, Pryor’s target rate (Targets/Snaps) was 15.7% last year.
Pryor averaged about 1.43 FP/target last year. Jackson, a similar deep threat, scored 180.5 FP on 100 targets, or 1.81 FP/target. From a receiving standpoint, a Kirk Cousins target was worth 1.73 FP. Collectively, the Cleveland passing game averaged about 1.41 FP/target, so Pryor is definitely seeing a big upgrade (+23%) in the quality of his targets. This should offset a good portion of a potential loss in targets, so Pryor could conceivably produce the same number of fantasy points on 20-30 fewer targets.
What’s His Upside?
I suspect Pryor will settle in as the second most-targeted Washington receiver behind Jordan Reed. If Reed can’t stay healthy, and/or Pryor asserts himself and starts to see 8.0-plus targets per game, we could be looking at a fantasy finish in the mid-teens. This doesn’t include any rushing or passing that Pryor might see given his versatility. Last year, Pryor scored an additional 8.1 points as a rusher and another 1.6 points as a passer, which would put him in low-end WR1 territory (assuming the 8.0 targets per game in the aforementioned example).
The Bottom Line
Early MFL10 ADP has Pryor as the 23rd receiver off the board near the 4/5 turn. I originally ranked him 29th in my Never Too Early rankings, but I think I’ll move him up 8-10 spots after studying his situation and hearing that he and Cousins are already working out together to build some much-needed chemistry.
I’m a bit worried about how engaged Cousins will be with the franchise given all that’s going on with his contract, but he’s certainly motivated to have a good year. If he remains in Washington in 2017 (which looks likely), it will obviously benefit Pryor.
- Just a Friendly Reminder That Martavis Bryant Is Really Good
- The Underrated Fantasy Impact of Kenny Britt to the Browns
- How Will DeSean Jackson Impact the Buccaneers Offense?
- Are the Eagles Ready to Soar with Alshon Jeffery and Torrey Smith?
- Is Brandon Marshall Done?
- An Intro to MFL10 Draft-Only Leagues: Prizes, Rules & Basic Strategy
- 2017 Early Rankings: Wide Receivers
- 2017 Fantasy Free Agency Tracker
Listen to the Most Accurate Podcast's Big Free Agency Pod with John Paulsen: